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Hundreds gather to walk for a cure



Jonesboro, Arkansas – On Saturday, Jonesboro residents participated in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk To End Alzheimer’s to raise money and awareness for care, support, and research.

Hundreds of people gathered to stroll the trails surrounding Arkansas State University for the event on Heritage Lawn on Saturday, which created an upbeat environment.

According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s is the seventh most lethal disease in the US. The condition can cause memory loss that interferes with day-to-day activities, such as asking the same questions repeatedly or becoming lost in a familiar setting.

The challenges of this illness are well-known to Kay Greenway, who watched as it steadily robbed her husband of him until he went away four years ago.

“He got to where he could not walk and where he could not talk,” said Greenway. “We took care of him just like he was a baby.”

Over 60,000 people live in Arkansas and are afflicted by the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

When Kirsten Dickens’ grandma was initially diagnosed, she was only 8 years old, but she still recalls the effect it had on her family.

Dickens is currently the Alzheimer’s Association’s Arkansas chapter’s executive director.

“The beautiful woman that we knew was slowly disappearing, day by day and year by year, and for me, I did not get to know her,” said Dickens.

Participants in the walk created a “Promise Garden” using flowers to symbolize their connection to the illness.

Blue flowers stood meant for someone who is presently battling the disease, while purple flowers signified someone who has already succumbed to it. Many purple blossoms were present.

One white blossom stood in for the first Alzheimer’s patient to live.

Many in attendance are in desperate need of a remedy.

“It would be amazing to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, there are so many struggling with this awful disease, and if we could find a cure that would be amazing, not only to the residents but to their families,” said Melissa Orr, caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient.

This annual occasion will serve as a method to honor the memory of those who have passed away for folks like Greenway and Dickens.

“The grandkids called him ‘Papa’ and he was a carpenter for 50 years, so that is why we came up with our slogan, ‘Hammer out Alzheimer’s’,” said Greenway.


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